Macquarie sells Akeler to former affiliate

Fast expanding Macquarie Global Property Advisors has sold a UK-focused business park for £640 million, more than double what it paid for the company four years earlier.

Macquarie Global Property Advisors (MGPA), the private equity real estate fund management company, has sold UK and European business park developer Akeler to Macquarie Goodman for £640 million (€946 million; $1.2 billion).

The sale comes four years after MGPA bought the company for £280.5 million, which it financed with equity from its $1.7-billion Global Fund 1. Since the acquisition, the firm has restructured the management team and refocused the company.

It is understood that the firm was not seeking to exit from its investment for another two years but that it received three separate approaches from investors, two of which have remained secret.

For Macquarie Goodman it is a further bolt-on to last year’s purchase of another UK developer, Arlington.

Chief executive officer of MGPA James Quille told that the deal was symptomatic of the way allocations to real estate have increased across the board.

“The option of securing a company with a huge pipeline to build out is a great way of securing product,” he said.

The two companies, MGPA and Macquarie Goodman, are no longer linked by a common shareholder after Australia’s Macquarie Bank sold its 8 percent stake in Macquarie Goodman earlier this year.

MGPA was formed in 2004 after a management buyout of Lend Lease’s Global Fund investment advisory platform. Shortly after, Macquarie Bank agreed to add financial fire power as a joint venture partner. MGPA closed a second global property fund in September 2005 with commitments of $1.3 billion.

Acquisitions this year include a 29-story office building in Hong Kong, a 40-story office tower in Warsaw and a 19-story office block in Seoul, as well as a €250 million portfolio of logistics properties in France.

Earlier this year the Global Fund I sold its 88 percent stake in Belgium real estate company Banimmo.

As well as the Akeler deal, the firm also announced today the final closing of the MGP Japan Core Plus Fund with commitments of $856 million. The new fund has bought a 13-property portfolio in Japan for around $80 million.

The portfolio consists of nine residential and four office properties in Tokyo, greater Nagoya, Fukuoka and Hiroshima.